To the editor:
I am writing to acknowledge the work and dedication of students and teachers involved with the Best Buddies program at Algonquin Regional High School. On Friday night, Feb. 6, the Best Buddies club sponsored a semi-formal Friendship Ball in the cafeteria at ARHS. As a parent volunteer at this event it was heartwarming to witness the kind and caring attitude shown by the students who are mentors and friends with teens who have special needs and challenges. Teachers who work with these teens at ARHS also attended and exhibited such support and enthusiasm by taking pictures as well as encouraging each child to be involved in any way they wanted to be. In this day when our economy and times are tough it is encouraging to know there are special people who care and want to be helpful with teens who may not have these kind of opportunities otherwise. This event presented them with the chance to dress up and participate in an important social event where they were accepted on all levels. For some it was easy to notice the boost in confidence they felt for just getting out on the dance floor. For most it was easy to see the happiness of just being there and mingling with their peers.
As a parent I am very appreciative and commend both students and teachers who organize these types of programs and support teens with special challenges. It is such a valuable program that benefits all who are involved. Debbie Pennesi Northborough